September 28, 2009

Few Feel Like Part of a Religious Minority

19%

Only one-in-five Americans (19%) say they think of themselves as belonging to a minority because of their religious beliefs.

When asked about their own religious status, one-in-five Americans (19%) say they think of themselves as belonging to a minority because of their religious beliefs, while 78% do not. These numbers are unchanged since early 2001. Though white evangelicals constitute the single largest religious group in the country, roughly a quarter (24%) identify themselves as part of a religious minority, much more than the 11% of white mainline Protestants and 13% of all Catholics who do so. In this regard, evangelicals resemble black Protestants, among whom 22% regard themselves as part of a religious minority. Among the religiously unaffiliated, 18% see themselves as part of a religious minority, a figure significantly higher than among mainline Protestants or white Catholics (7%). Frequent attendance at religious services is associated with a higher tendency to feel like part of a religious minority. Overall, one-quarter of those who attend religious services at least once a week say they are a minority because of their beliefs, compared with 16% of those who attend less often. Read More